Minakai: An Ōmi Merchant’s Emporium at the Nexus of Imperial Asia and Immigrant America
Conférence de UCHIDA Jun, Pofesseur à l’Université de Stanford, professeure invitée à l’EHESS en juin 2018, dans le cadre du séminaire collectif du Centre Japon, le 7 juin 2018 (séance spécaile) .
Jeudi 7 juin, de 11h à 13h
EHESS, Salle 11, 105 boulevard Raspail 75006 Paris
The province of Ōmi (present-day Shiga prefecture) is historically known for its itinerant peddlers, the so-called Ōmi shōnin. Frequently compared to overseas Chinese and European Jews for their commercial prowess, merchants from Ōmi engaged in wholesale activities around early modern Japan, from Ezo (Hokkaidō) in the north to Kyūshū in the south. While they are almost a fixture in local and popular histories, Ōmi shōnin remain virtually unknown outside Japan. In this talk, I will offer an overview of their history, from their humble origins as peddlers to the peak of their activities in the Tokugawa period, when they circulated goods and commodities of various provinces to forge a trading diaspora across the early modern archipelago.